Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Seek inner perfection, not a perfect life

Deep inside, you are a fountain of bliss, a fountain of joy! Be thankful that you have been bestowed with the qualities that you have. When you understand this basic truth then your imperfections diminish and the inner perfection begins to blossom.

Sri Sri Ravi ShankarUpdated: Monday, June 06, 2022, 02:51 AM IST
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In a state of wisdom or enlightenment, imperfection is an effort. In a state of ignorance, imperfection is natural and perfection is an effort; perfection is a compulsion and is unavoidable! Perfection is the very nature of the enlightened one.

Perfection is taking total responsibility. And total responsibility means working as if you are the only responsible person in the whole world. When you work this way and when you are in total vairagya (dispassion), you can take care of even the most trivial and insignificant things with great perfection.

There are three kinds of perfection: Perfection in action/work, perfection in speech & perfection in feelings (intention). Some people are very good in their actions but inside they feel very grumpy and angry. Some people tell lies, so their speech is not perfect but they do their jobs with the right intention. For instance, a doctor may tell a patient, ‘‘Don’t worry, your disease will be cured’’, but that may not be true. Here, the intention behind lying is perfect. But if someone lies intentionally, then the feeling is imperfect, the speech is imperfect and the action will also reflect the same.

When someone makes a mistake and you get angry about it, then you are no better than the person who has made the mistake, because there the action was imperfect, but here your feelings have become imperfect. Any action will have some flaw. But when the feeling becomes imperfect the innermost perfection is lost.

There are six Vikaras, imperfections or distortions of nature; lust, anger, greed, entanglement, arrogance, and jealousy. The whole creation is made up of nature and distortions of nature. That’s why we call it Prakriti and Vikriti. They are part of this creation but we still call them distortions, because they do not allow the self to shine forth fully and lead you to sin. Lust is considered a sin because, in lust, you treat the other person like an object. Anger or arrogance is a sin because when you are angry, you lose your centre; you lose sight of the self. Greed and entanglement lead you to possession and obsession.

If you nourish these Vikaras inside, they change from one impurity to another and keep multiplying inside you. Understand that sin is not your nature and you are not born out of sin. Sin is just the wrinkle in the cloth. It needs proper ironing.

Deep inside, you are a fountain of bliss, a fountain of joy! Be thankful that you have been bestowed with the qualities that you have. When you understand this basic truth then your imperfections diminish and the inner perfection begins to blossom.

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